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Slender-billed Vulture
Gyps tenuirostris

Status: Critically endangered

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: 

Gyps tenuirostris
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Distribution: Indomalayan. INDIA north of (and including) the Gangetic Plain, west to Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, south to southern West Bengal (and possibly northern Orissa), east through the plains of Assam, and through southern NEPAL, north and central BANGLADESH, and MYANMAR. In Southeast Asia, there are recent records from CAMBODIA and LAOS, but it is probably extirpated in THAILAND (BirdLife International 2005). more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Based on molecular sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, Wink (1995) found that the genera Gyps and Necrosrytes forms a sister clade to a group containing the genera Aegypius, Sarcogyps, Torgos, and Trigonoceps. Formerly included the Long-billed Vulture G. indicus, but "re-separation" was recommended by Rasmussen and Parry (2000) and Rasmussen et al. (2001). This conclusion was strongly supported by the recent molecular studies of Johnson et al. (2006), and their accompanying Principal Component Analysis of various morphological characters showed that the two taxa differ markedly in proportions. With the Cape Vulture G. coprotheres of southern Africa, they form a clade sister to a clade consisting of the Eurasian Griffon G.f. fulvus and the recent molecular studies of Johnson et al. (2006) supported a sister relationship between this species and the Eurasian Griffon, G. f. fulvus, with that clade being sister to another clade consisting of the Long-billed Vulture (G. indicus), Slender-billed Vulture (G. tenuirostris) and Rüppell's Vulture (G. rueppellii). more....

Movements: Irruptive or local migrant and an altitudinal migrant in some areas (Bildstein 2006).

Food and Feeding Behavior: Obligate scavenger.

Breeding: Ndests on cliffs or buildings.

Conservation: Formerly common, but populations have been declined by more than 97% in the past 15 years from the effects of Diclofenac, a pharmeceutical drug administered to aging livestock to alleviate their suffering, but which is lethal to vultures consuming their carcasses. Categorized as Critically Endangered by BirdLife International. more....

Population Estimates: BirdLife International currently estimates the global population of mature individuals at 2,500 to 9,999 birds, but noted that the supporting data are poor. more....

Important References: 
Arshad, M., J. Gonzalez, A.A. El-Sayed, T. Osborne, and M. Wink. 2009.
  Phylogeny and physiogeography of critically endangered Gyps species based on
  nuclear and mitochondrial markers. Journal of Ornithology 150:419-430.
Clark, W.S. 1994. Long-billed Vulture. P. 127 in del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott,
  and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New World
  vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Johnson, J.A., H.R.L. Lerner, P.C. Rasmussen, and D.P. Mindell. 2006.
  Systematics within Gyps vultures: a clade at risk. BMC Evolutionary Biology
  6:65; http://www.biomedcentral.com/1186/1471-2148-6-65.
Murn, C., U. Khan, and F. Farid. 2008. Vulture populations in Pakistan and
  the Gyps vulture restoration project. Vulture News 58:35-43.
Naoroji, R. 2006. Birds of prey of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher
  Helm, London.
Prakash, V., R.E. Green, D.J. Pain, S.P. Ranadi, S. Saravanan, N. Prakash,
  R. Venkitachalam, R. Cuthbert, A.R. Rahmani, and A.A. Cunningham.
  Recent changes in populations of resident Gyps vultures in India. Journal of
  the Bombay Natural History Society 104:129-135.
Rasmussen, P.C., and J.C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: the Ripley
  guide. Vols. 1-2. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions, Washington,
  D.C. and Barcelona, Spain.
Rasmussen, P.C., W.S. Clark, S.J. Parry, and J. Schmitt. 2001. Field
  identification of 'Long-billed' Vultures (Indian and Slender-billed
  Vultures). Oriental Bird Club Bulletin 34:24-29.
Rasmussen, P.C., and S.J. Parry. 2000. ON the specific distinctness of the
  Himalayan and Long-billed Vulture Gyps [indicus] tenuirostris. Newsletter of
  the World Working Group on Birds of Prey and Owls 29/32:70-71.
Rasmussen, P.C., and S.J. Parry. 2001. The taxonomic status of the
  Long-billed Vultures Gyps indicus indicus. Vulture News
Wink, M. 1995. Phylogeny of Old and New World vultures (Aves: Accipitridae
  and Cathartidae) inferred from nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial
  cytochrome b gene. Verlag der Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 50c:868-882.

Current Research: Two birds were reared in two separate captive breeding centers in India, one at the Pinjore Center, in Haryana, and the second at Rajabhat Khawa, in West Bengal (World BirdWatch, September 2009), giving some hope that a captive flock can be established for eventual release into a Diclofenac-free environment.

Sites of Interest:
The Peregrine Fund
Currently investigating the cause of vulture declines in Pakistan.
Vulture Rescue
Addresses the decline of Gyps vultures on the Indian subcontinent.
Asian Vulture Population Project
Submit information (species, number of nests, number of chicks, location, etc.) on South Asian vultures at this site to assist in monitoring these species.
Red Data Book Threatened Birds of Asia
Detailed information on status, threats, and proposed conservation actions.
Slender-billed Vulture photos.

Arshad, Muhammad
Baral, Nabin
Bhusal, Krishna
Bohra, Dr. Dau Lal
Dhakal, Hemanta
Gilbert, Martin
Jethva, Dr. Bharat
Johnson, Jeff A.
Kapetanakos, Yula
Karmacharya, Dikpal Krishna
Khadka, Bidur
Teli, Janki
Virani, Munir

Last modified: 12/22/2009

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 25 Sep. 2020

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